Most kids cry when given a time-out or a nap, yet most adults would drop everything and run toward either one.
If only someone would tell us to crawl under the covers and go to sleep, or sit alone on a chair for awhile…ahh. In fact, some parents set the timer, a minute for every year of the child’s age. 44 minutes? Oh yeah!
Why are we so reluctant to give ourselves a break? Guilt, pressure to succeed, pleasing others…the list goes on as we grow more and more weary. So what are some clues that we need a bit of a sabbatical?
Here are 5 signs that you need a grown-up time out to pray, think and re-evaluate your life.
#1 You are just going through the motions
One foot in front of the other…step by meaningless step…that’s how you feel most days. But life wasn’t intended to be that way. Except for rare seasons of getting through a tough time, life was meant to be lived to the fullest.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
I saw a documentary once that portrayed some of the poorest, hardest working people in the world as some of the happiest. I watched as they filmed a 90-year-old man getting up every morning to cut sugar cane for his family. When the interviewer asked why he never retired, he didn’t know what the word meant.
Perhaps, when we find ourselves trudging through life, we need to go out and find our ‘sugar cane.’
#2 You are overwhelmed with small things
Normal, everyday things, seem like really big tasks. An unexpected change in your schedule threatens to tip the scale. This is a sure sign you need a time-out. Perspective, perspective, perspective!
The pressure you are putting on yourself is too much and the fact that you aren’t delegating enough has to change. Bottom line: You need to let some things go. Today.
Realize that some tasks left undone are NOT your undoing. Admit that you aren’t perfect and never will be. See the unexpected change in your schedule as a divine interference from God. His plan is always bigger than ours.
#3 You are more irritable than usual
Ok, grumpy pants, calm down. Being on edge over the small stuff can mean you need a brief getaway. Go to the park, take a nap, or relax in the bathtub.
We all need to let off steam, and we need to do it before we blow. Take a couple of hours to decompress with one of your favorite activities.
P.S. Eat a piece of chocolate once in a while.
#4 You aren’t finding joy in the things you used to love
What’s going on? Your hobbies have been abandoned. Your talents seem a bit tarnished. And the fun activities you used to participate in seem like drudgery. Please take a sabbatical. You are bordering burn-out and you need time to refocus on the joy of the Lord.
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)
#5 You often think, “Is this all there is?”
On occasion, we will all stop to re-evaluate why we do what we do. However, when each day seems like a cloudy, gloomy, no-purpose day, it is time to hit the pause button.
Our loved ones don’t deserve our ‘dire straits’ attitude. It is easy to blame others during this time, thinking “If only,” or “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.” But those thoughts won’t change a thing.
Pray, pray, pray, and thank God for the many blessings He has given. Then ask for direction. Perhaps you really do need a change of pace or scenery. Trust fully that He will order your steps and make your path straight.
Do you need a grown-up timeout? Then find a corner where you can sit and think for a bit. And after you’ve presented all your requests to God, just listen. He has some wonderful words of wisdom, you know.
A timeout may just be the best thing you’ve done for yourself in a long, long, time.
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